Sustainable Business or Perpetual Busyness?

 As a kid at school, I'm always looking for shortcuts to my homework. The epitome of my achievement was when I was Form 2, we were given mundane homework on literally copying literature from books into our workbook. Teachers always give an excuse of, "you'll remember better if you write it down." 

Well, I never really found out if that worked for me because as soon as I realised that the teacher wasn't reading what she marked. I was copying every other word from the book, effectively cutting down my time doing it by half, but still getting good marks for my homework. 

Throughout my career, I am still always asking myself. What's the purpose here? What's the best way to achieve that purpose? How might we do it efficiently? I see some people in perpetual busyness blindly following instructions to do their work without asking these questions. Why? 

Maybe they've been beaten into obedience throughout their life. The topic of our education system comes into mind, but I'd like to avoid that topic for now. So what can we do today to help our people be better at thinking out of the box? 

In organisations I'm in or clients I've consulted for, I'm always introducing new ideas. One such recent example was me trying to introduce some new technology, but this is the standard response I often get:

What's this mysterious "busy period" we're talking about? When are we ever NOT in a "busy period"? Maybe it's only after we leave the company? 😂

This comic comes to mind:

With every mention of "busy periods" leaders need to identify "non-busy periods" to change our square wheels to round wheels. To create a sustainable business, the concept of "Kaizen", or continuous improvement needs to be embedded in everything we do. Do not let our people get in a mindset of perpetual busyness and miss all the opportunities of making our future of work better. 

Awareness of this is a good start.